Come Together, Right Now…

Hopefully you’ve already dipped into your pocket for people in Puerto Rico, or maybe you’ve helped folks in Houston. If you live in Monmouth County, there’s another cause that needs your contribution, and in return, you’ll hear some amazing stories!

ComeTogetherFlyer

Project Write Now is delighted to announce our second annual fundraiser, “Come Together: A Performance + Party” to be held at the Two River Theater​ on Friday, October 13, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

If you’re local, I hope you’ll come hear a dramatic reading performed by students who will share their incredible writing. Michael Sarin and I will be playing miniature pieces of original music in between readings, something I’m really excited about. We hope the music will give the audience an extra moment to reflect on the the writers’ words, while at the same time evoking something more of the their work, possibly something invisible. (For a beautiful and articulate take on the concept of invisibility in writing, read this, an amazing piece from the August 25th New York Times Book Review by Roger Rosenblatt entitled “The Invisible Forces That Make Writing Work.”)

We’ll start the evening with a cocktail hour featuring music by singer-songwriter Austin Vuolo​. After the performance, the festivities will continue with more music, food, drinks, and lots of conversation and community!

Please join me for this special celebration! You can purchase tickets here.

For more information about Project Write Now, a non-profit dedicated to helping people of all ages become better writers as they gain the confidence, skills, and insight needed to reach their personal, academic, and professional goals, please visit the PWN website.

Thank you!

Romance & Writing on #YAlitchat

Romance is definitely a HAWT topic for the #yalitchat tweeps!

Last night on twitter the tweets were flying about what we want to see as far as YA couples and relationships, what we like and don’t like, and how YA romance is different from adult romance.

During the course of the evening I quoted from Galway Kinnell’s The Still Time.

I remember those summer nights

when I was young and empty,

For me these lines express the yearning that YA literature is all about. I decided to put the entire poem up because it’s so gorgeous. Enjoy.

Below Galway Kinnell’s poem I posted the lyrics of a song that the MC of one of my YA manuscripts wrote after breaking up with the love of her life.

The lyrics deal with a different kind of emptiness—and I’m certainly not comparing my writing to Galway Kinnell’s!—but I do think sharp emotions are present in both the poem and the song. I think this kind of heightened emotion is what readers, both teens and adults, are looking for when they choose to read YA.

Do you agree? Why do you read YA? Please leave a comment to let me know. Thanks!

See you on twitter ;)

The Still Time

I know there is still time—

time for the hands

to open, for the bones of them

to be filled

by those failed harvests of want,

the bread imagined of the days of not having.

 

Now that the fear

has been rummaged down to its husk

and the wind blowing

the flesh away translates itself

and the flesh into flesh

streams in its reveries on the wind.

 

I remember those summer nights

when I was young and empty,

when I lay through the darkness

wanting, wanting,

knowing

I would have nothing of anything I wanted—

that total craving

that hollows the heart out irreversibly.

 

So it surprises me now to hear

the steps of my life following me—

so much of it gone

it returns, everything that drove me crazy

comes back, blessing the misery

of each step it took me into the world;

as though prayer had ended

and the changed

air between the palms goes free

to become the glitter

on common things that inexplicably shine.

 

And the old voices,

which once made broken-off, choked, parrot-incoherences,

speak again,

this time on the palatum cordis, all of them

saying there is time, still time,

for those who can groan

to sing,

for those who can sing to heal themselves.


Empty 

I am empty

Like the streets at night

Like the movie house

When they turn up the lights

 

I am empty

Like this curtained bed

Like your promises

All those things you said

 

(Chorus)

That filled my head

Until I got lost in love, I got confused

Between your lies and what I know is true . . .

 

I am empty

Ghost town in the dust

God’s a shadow here

Nothing I can trust

 

I am empty

The appetite we fed

Going hungry now

Starve those words you said

 

(Chorus)

That filled my head

Until I got lost in love, I got confused

Between your lies and what I know is true . . .

 

I am empty

All the tears I bled

They don’t mean a thing

Like those things you said

 

(Chorus)

 

(Outro)

I played the fool

I fell in love—and then I got confused, I don’t know what to do

I think I’d lose it all – if I lost you . . . I’d be empty . . . I’m empty now . . . I am empty.